Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.
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  1. #1

    Default Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    Just need some advice. Last year we built a house that had an old "shed" that we decided to keep. Not that it matters, but we built our house on an old ball field, and the structure is the old score keeper building. Anyway, we've had issues with wasps so I was spraying around the building and trying to seal up cracks on the exterior. I noticed some bees flying into a crack above the door. As much as I hated to do it, I took some wasp killer to them. After I killed a few of them, I looked at one, and I believe it's a honey bee nest. Ugh. I sprayed the entrance a few times before I realized what they were. Should I rinse the door to remove any residue, or will that just make them angry?

    So, it's late March in Georgia. What are my options? I keep stuff in the shed that I use but nothing that's life or death. Is there a company that can remove a nest safely from within the walls? Do I wait it out and seal it up in the fall?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    Well, that is a honey bee. Try washing the area you sprayed with soap and water and then rinse well.
    With luck, not too many of the bees will die. If the bees do survive, google bee clubs in your area and you will likeky get someone that will remove them at a minimal cost. You must tell them that the bees got sprayed, with what, and how long ago. We also have an old list of folks that remove bees on the top bar of this forum. Go to your state and start calling people in your area.
    Please do not call an exterminator. Most will kill the bees.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3

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    Thanks for the reply. I read up on the wasp killer, and it looks like it works by coating them. I was watching them and it looks like the ones that are walking over the sprayed area are doing well. I had an allergic reaction to a wasp in the past, so I've made a point to stay away from bees/wasps.
    I'll see if we can coexist through the summer. Does the nest go dormant in the fall? I may seal it up at that point.

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    No, unlike wasps, bees overwinter. In GA, they stay active most of the year. Wasp venom and bee venom are different, but enough people are allergic to bee stings that it is best not to take chances. If the hive is removed, a chemical can be sprayed in the surfaces inside that will discourage bees from coming back to that location. If the hive is simply killed, rodents and roaches will move in to get the honey left in the walls. Where in Georgia are you?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5

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    Middle Georgia, Warner robins to be specific. I'll see if I can get in touch with someone to safely address the situation. If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    St Louis, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    There are two beekeeping clubs listed on the Georgia Beekeepers' website. Try posting on their facebook pages (links below). Ask them if anyone can come do a cut-out. Make sure you tell them it's in a shed (which is typically easier than a house), and as JWPalmer said you've got to let them know they were sprayed.

    Hopefully the bees can be saved, but even if they can't I'd personally get the hive out of there. Even if it means paying a beekeeper to come do it. Otherwise you'll be left with a mess of brood, honey, and all the pests they might attract in your shed, which isn't ideal.

    https://www.facebook.com/maconcountybeekeepers/

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1615309585382777/

  8. #7

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    That was very helpful. Thanks! Just for my benefit, why is it important to know they were sprayed? Is it to avoid spreading something to another hive?

  9. #8
    Join Date
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    St Louis, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    It's a combination of things. First, beekeepers aren't keen on bringing a bunch of poisoned bees and comb back into their bee yards--if that colony doesn't survive, it will get robbed out by their healthy bees, and pose a poison risk to those bees. Second, it just might not be worth it to spend a lot of time rescuing a colony that's already doomed. That's why I'm suggesting you offer to pay a beekeeper to come and remove it, even if it means they dispose of it as humanely as possible (often done by soaking the colony in soapy water), or by placing the colony at a remote site away from any other known hives. A beekeeper doing this would get nothing out of it besides your payment, which is why it may take a more to convince them to do the job (not to mention the fact that most folks are on lock-down right now). For a "clean" cut-out, those beekeepers at least get a new colony of bees, so they might be willing to charge less.

  10. #9

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    Thanks to everyone for their help. I've got someone coming over Monday to give me a quote for a cut out.

  11. #10
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    Thank you rbridges for taking the time and expense to do this right. I would add to what Bee Arthur said. Some beekeepers would collect and use the honey for bee or even human consumption. They need to know if it is contaminated. J

  12. #11

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    Well, good news. I found someone looking to start a hive, and he took down the ceiling panel. The hive was located further in than I would have suspected. We think it was relatively new. Anyway, we found the queen, and everything went well. Any recommendations on a chemical to keep futures bees away, or is sealing it up the best defense?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #12
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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    That's awesome. Good work. Glad they're doing okay, and glad you've got your shed back. I don't have suggestions for a chemical defense, but I believe the best thing you can do is make sure there's no way for bees to get back in there. So be sure you've got tight seams and caulk or spray foam any gaps that are bigger than 1/8 inch.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    Great Stuff spray foam is good for sealing up those holes. Happy to hear all went well. With the hive far in, it is unlikely the spray did much damage.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Help! I think I have a honey bee hive in my shed wall.

    That's great news. There are products such as https://www.betterbee.com/harvesting...quick-8-oz.asp but I believe their effect is temporary. Bees are attracted to the smell of hives so another swarm may be attracted to the shed. The best you can do is remove as much of the comb as possible and seal it up good. J

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